Introduction to Career Skills
This section of Mind Tools looks at tools and approaches you can use to manage your career successfully. It starts with five articles which help you think about career direction. These tools help you uncover what you do best and identify the types of work that you’ll enjoy doing most. From this, you can figure out how to make the most of your skills and preferences, whether in your current role or in a new one. Amongst these, our article on Personal SWOT Analysis shows you how you can apply the wellknown SWOT strategy tool to your life and career, helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities open to you and the threats you face. This leads naturally into the idea of job crafting. This is something that many of us do subconsciously to some extent, but our article gives you a rigorous approach that you can use to craft your ideal job. Our next group of articles help you to develop your career in various ways. We show you what you can be doing now to future proof your careerand to get ready for promotion. And if you’re frustrated because your hard work and abilities are going unnoticed, find out how to get the recognition you deserve. Of course, despite your best efforts and preparation, careers don’t always go to plan, especially in a volatile economic climate. So we show you how to live with a lack of job security and how to cope with life after job loss. Yet even when the economy’s booming, you can still face challenging career situations such as hitting a “glass ceiling”. Find out what you can do to break through these! We round off this section with two articles that will help you transition through significant events in your career. First, we look at what you can do when you get a new boss, and then we see how to wrap up in one role before moving on.
Personal SWOT Analysis :Making the Most of Your Talents and Opportunities.
"Chance – Louis Pasteur
You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you'll suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses so that they don't matter in the work you do.
So how you go about identifying these strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you do this. What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward. If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities you need to advance your career.
How to Use the Tool
To perform a personal SWOT analysis, print out our free worksheet, and write down answers to the questions in each area below.
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What advantages do you have that others don't have (for example, skills, certifications, education, or connections)? What do you do better than anyone else? What personal resources can you access? What do other people (and your boss, in particular) see as your strengths? Which of your achievements are you most proud of? What values do you believe in that others fail to exhibit? Are you part of a network that no one else is involved in? If so, what connections do you have with influential people?
Consider this from your own perspective, and from the point of view of the people around you. And don't be modest or shy – be as objective as you can. And if you have any difficulty with this, write down a list of your personal characteristics. Some of these will hopefully be strengths! You can also learn more about identifying your strengths in our article on "Your Reflected Best Self™".
Tip: Think about your strengths in relation to the people around you. For example, if you're a great mathematician and the people around you are also great at math, then this is not likely to be a strength in your current role – it may be a necessity.
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What tasks do you usually avoid because you don't feel confident doing them? What will the people around you see as your weaknesses? Are you completely confident in your education and skills training? If not, where are you weakest? What are your negative work habits (for example, are you often late, are you disorganized, do you have a short temper, or are you poor at handling stress? Do you have personality traits that hold you back in your field? For instance, if you have to conduct meetings on a regular basis, a fear of public speaking would be a major weakness.
Again, consider this from a personal/internal perspective and an external perspective. Do other people see weaknesses that you don't see? Do coworkers consistently outperform you in key areas? Be realistic – it's best to face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible.
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What new technology can help you? Or can you get help from others or from people via the Internet? Is your industry growing? If so, how can you take advantage of the current market? Do you have a network of strategic contacts to help you, or offer good advice? What trends (management or otherwise) do you see in your company, and how can you take advantage of them? Are any of your competitors failing to do something important? If so, can you take advantage of their mistakes? Is there a need in your company or industry that no one is filling? Do your customers or vendors complain about something in your company? If so, could you create an opportunity by offering a solution?
You might find useful opportunities in the following:
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Networking events, educational classes, or conferences. A colleague going on an extended leave. Could you take on some of this person's projects to gain experience? A new role or project that forces you to learn new skills, like public speaking or international relations. A company expansion or acquisition. Do you have specific skills (like a second language) that could help with the process?
Also, importantly, look at your strengths, and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities – and look at your weaknesses, and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating those weaknesses.
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What obstacles do you currently face at work? Are any of your colleagues competing with you for projects or roles? Is your job (or the demand for the things you do) changing? Does changing technology threaten your position? Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?
Performing this analysis will often provide key information – it can point out what needs to be done and put problems into perspective.
A Personal SWOT Example
What would a personal SWOT assessment look like? Review this SWOT analysis for Carol, an advertising manager.
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I'm very creative. I often impressing clients with a new perspective on their brands. I communicate well with my clients and team. I have the ability to ask key questions to find just the right marketing angle. I'm completely committed to the success of a client's brand.
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I have a strong, compulsive need to do things quickly and remove them from my "to do" list, and sometimes the quality of my work suffers as a result. This same need to get things done also causes me stress when I have too many tasks. I get nervous when presenting ideas to clients, and this fear of public speaking often takes the passion out of my presentations.
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One of our major competitors has developed a reputation for treating their smaller clients poorly. I'm attending a major marketing conference next month. This will allow for strategic networking, and also offer some great training seminars. Our art director will go on maternity leave soon. Covering her duties while she's away would be a great career development opportunity for me.
• • •
Simon, one of my colleagues, is a much stronger speaker than I am, and he's competing with me for the art director position. Due to recent staff shortages, I'm often overworked, and this negatively impacts my creativity. The current economic climate has resulted in slow growth for the marketing industry. Many firms have laid off staff members, and our company is considering further cutbacks.
As a result of performing this analysis, Carol takes the bold step of approaching her colleague Simon about the art director's maternity leave. Carol proposes that both she and Simon cover the job's duties, working together and each using his or her strengths. To her surprise, Simon likes the idea. He knows he presents very well, but he admits that he's usually impressed by Carol's creative ideas, which he feels are far better than most of his. By working as a team, they have a chance to make their smaller clients feel even better about the service they're getting. This takes advantage of their competitor's weakness in this area.
A SWOT matrix is a framework for analyzing your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that you face. This helps you focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.
Finding Career Direction
Discover Yourself and Your Purpose
How long has it been since you asked yourself what you want to be when you grow up? If you haven't considered the idea since high school, then you may have settled into a job that is not fulfilling your professional aspirations, or your purpose. Each of us has particular talents that, when expressed or exercised, make the world a better place. Most likely you enjoy doing these things, and you find that people respond well to you when you do them. Perhaps they're things you gravitate towards during out-of-hours activities, and that people respect you for. When you develop these talents as far as you can, you can make your greatest possible contribution to the world, and enjoy personal and professional satisfaction that goes along with this.
Your Career Direction Journey
The process of uncovering what you are meant to do. consider your answers to the following questions:
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When have you been most committed.firstly asking you to explore your talents. By taking a talent-based approach to your career search right from the start. defenses.
Exploring Your Talents
First of all. this journey never really ends because work itself is all about change. Who Am I? 2. that is finding career direction. What Do I Want to Do? 3. you keep yourself heading toward the right career even when the actual direction shifts over time. Discovering Who You Really Are
The first question to answer is "Who am I?" We'll take two approaches to answering this . in these situations? For what would you take a very strong stand?
. in which you identify the jobs you want and put yourself in the best possible position to get them. your journey continues with specific career exploration and identification of a career that allows you to make good use of your talents. and using. Once unmasked. In fact. And it moves on with a focused job or career move. How Do I Get Hired?
1. It starts with discovering the essential "you": the person who truly resides behind the facades. and secondly using psychometric tests to explore your preferences. growth. This approach consists of sequentially answering three questions:
1. development. passionate and enthusiastic? When have you been most creative? When have you been most sure of yourself and your decisions? What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? When have other people considered you to be most successful? When have you enjoyed your work most? What talents were you relying on. and reinvention. and stresses of everyday life. is a journey.
it is probably worth investing in them if you haven't already done so. we'll look at using personality inventories as a way of looking at your preferred way of working relative to other people. Rank these in order. it does help you discover what motivates and energizes you. That said. Tip 1: Some of these cost quite a lot of money. Tip 3: Treat these tests as advisory only . what would you be doing?
Brainstorm each of these questions. and avoid the things that
. use a technique like paired comparison analysis to rank things in order.
Next. This in turn empowers you to seek those elements in the work you choose to do. and then use your answers to identify the top three talents that you most use when you're successful. One trick is to turn things around. you'll probably find the tests quite insightful! With personality testing you learn what you have in common with other people. Steadiness and Conscientiousness) and the strength finder evaluation in "Now Discover Your Strengths". Influence. Tip 2: It can be hard initially to see how to apply these tests. and as you identify possible careers. You also discover potential points of friction with people of other personality types. Is there a match or a mismatch? We'll do this later. think about what personality type is most likely to be successful in these careers. however considering the importance of what you're doing.you can't capture the whole complexity of your personality and experience with only a few questions. DISC (Dominance.7
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What about the world puzzles or disturbs you that you could make an impact on? What jobs do you like to do at work when you have a choice? What activities are you drawn towards out of work? If money were no concern. Tip: If you're having problems choosing. While no personality type is good or bad. There are many typologies available including Myers-Briggs.
what is your payoff for making the choices you make? When you know the "why" it is easier to see how you can become fulfilled through the work you do. For your life to be balanced and fulfilled. be careful not just to look back nostalgically at simple jobs where you performed well . or to prefer one thing to another.
Write a "Who I Am" Statement
Now draw this together into a simple written statement of who you are.
. The talents you achieve most with. and your way of seeing the world. Focus instead on more difficult areas where you made a positive difference. We'll then confirm this with some different psychometric tests. your beliefs. the next stage is to think about what you want to do.
As you explore your personality you come to realize that who you are is really determined by the choices you make. You choose to react one way over another. You then need to spend some time researching the top careers you've identified. After all. and then extend this list with some more brainstorming. and where others didn't.
Tip: When you're doing this. The starting point is to do some brainstorming on the jobs that you think would suit who you are. many different people could perform well in these situations. You can take this self-awareness one step further by examining why you make the choices you do.8
you. Use it to answer the following questions:
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What your talents and strengths are. The type of activity the psychometrics you've completed guide you towards. and you'll probably underachieve. your career must be aligned with who you are: Otherwise you'll be unhappy with work. This is an important step toward self-discovery and defining your purpose.after all. In psychological terms. The activities you get most satisfaction from. ill-fitting jobs demand different talents from the ones that you have.
2. If you try to pursue a career path that is at odds with your values. then you'll struggle constantly and be under a great deal of stress and pressure. Finding Out What You Want to Do
Now that you know who you are. and this gives you little information.
On the other hand. compared with ditching everything and starting completely afresh (while this sounds glamorous and enticing. if there are other roles within your existing company that would be worth trying. and with good selections of possible careers): http://www. and can only cope with the major career types. do some brainstorming to see if there are new technology careers which demand similar personality types. Thinking Further
The unavoidable flaw with these career tests is that they're based on backward-looking data. Exploring the Options You Know About
Starting with your "Who I Am" statement. nor do they know about less well-known careers. Once you've done this. industry and profession.self-directed-search. if you're profoundly unhappy with your company. or whether similar roles in other organizations might be more rewarding. but limited career selection advice: Princeton Review Career Quiz Chargeable (but inexpensive.
ii. they can't recommend new careers.assessment. Using Career Tests
The next stage is to use online career tests to explore options that you might have missed. you help to avoid "being too close to the issue.. start thinking about all of the jobs you can see that would suit you someone with the talents and interests in that statement (by depersonalizing it in this way. it puts you in the position of competing equally with other career starters.9 i.) So start by asking yourself if your current role can be adapted to suit you much better.com
. Useful ones are: Free. a radical career change may be the best thing.. or if there are more obscure careers that may also be open. extend out and brainstorm the other options available. Using the test results as a starting point. who may be much younger than you.") Starting here is particularly important if you're already established in a career: It's important to capitalize where you can on the experience and contacts you've already built up. Because of this.
We're not asking you to choose one now. But think about the consequences of getting things wrong! Surely it's worth spending time exploring your options. some of them may turn out to be quite bad!) Again. Volunteering. Reading industry/career magazines and get a sense of how "happy" the industry is. rather than a lifetime kicking yourself for making a bad choice! Methods for researching careers include:
Researching the career using sites like Acinet.10 iv.
You'll now have identifies a wide range of possible careers open to you. Working part time and/or seasonally in the industry. Perform Career Research
Armed with a solid understanding of how you can participate in fulfilling work. looking at job vacancies to see if the career is in demand. Now's the time to cut these down and prioritize them. Understanding where organizations are based. so that you can understand industry trends. and what the issues and problems within it are. job pay levels. and deciding if you're prepared to travel to interviews. Yes. Attending professional and trade shows.org. etc. Participating in job fairs. but to cut down to your top 5 or 6 choices (the reason being that when you start researching these careers. who the major players in it are. Pulling This Together. Visiting company websites.
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. use paired comparison analysis to rank your choices. and keep an eye on how companies are talked about in the press. job availability. you now need to research the various options you have to make money doing so. Career research is not something many people relish. Conducting your own PEST Analysis to confirm your own view of likely career trends. and perhaps to move. this is quite tedious. qualifications needed. Also. if you're having trouble prioritizing. and mapping these back against your own talents and personality. Understanding what talents and personalities make people successful in the career. but it is necessary in order to eliminate choices that seem to be great fits on the surface but really won't align with your mission and purpose.
Go back and identify contingency plans • Do a "what if" analysis on your goals "If you don't get accepted to grad school this year. the better the job
. Paired Comparison Analysis may be useful here.) Take official figures with a pinch of salt! By the end of all of this research. Tip 2: Recognize that the more opportunities you have. or a whole host of other distractions. "What am I going to do to get hired?"
With your "Who I Am" statement and your research as your compass. an opening that Uncle Vinny has. Now's the time to narrow down to one! Again. • Be sure to express as SMART objectives.
Start by writing down the career you want. Also be aware that there's a natural desire from people within an industry to inflate its prospects (to ensure a good supply of new recruits in the future. you may have rejected several possible careers. now you need to actually map your progress. Many people tend to move from their purpose right into job search mode. • These are your short term goals.
3. This will only lead to dissatisfaction down the road. What is your long-term vision for yourself in terms of your career? Write down the steps you need to take or the things you need to accomplish. a job that sounds really glamorous. Develop your plan first and you're more likely to get where you want to go. You will also have much more confidence in yourself despite the bumps in the road. however so can Grid Analysis which helps you make comparisons where many variables are involved. faster. it is far too easy to get derailed by a lucrative job offer. What qualifications should you get? What experience should you build? Which organization will give you the best start? For each of these steps create a detailed implementation plan. This is a mistake because unless you have a plan.11
Tip: Be careful when using career trends to identify career possibilities: The desire to pursue an up and coming career may overshadow your mission and purpose. in order to get there. what will you do?"
Tip: The more contingency plans you have the more likely you will be able to survive the inevitable setbacks. Answering "How do I Get Hired?"
In this last phase you answer.
that you'll be able to choose.
Signs a career direction evaluation may be in order:
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Your job lacks challenge and excitement for you. You are suffering from stress or depression. if you’re a science person. You are feeling unappreciated. You also know when the task you're doing just isn't right for you. You sense that your skills and talents are being wasted. The effort however. artistic people would be
. is certainly worth it when you end up with a clear sense of the direction your career should be taking. you may not be happy working in a job that needs quick decisions. Likewise. Concentrate on creating as many opportunities as possible! Now you are free to pursue your dream career with confidence. the career that you are meant for will materialize. Uncovering your true self and your purpose is heavy.
You know when you are in a job you like. There are certainly no guarantees but with the right amount of planning and a sufficient dose of reality. The trick to finding career satisfaction can be to identify those core interests and match your job to them. What lies behind our feelings of work satisfaction or dissatisfaction are our fundamental work interests: These are the things that we enjoy doing. whatever the industry or the job title.
Finding career direction is a process. The more effort you put into the planning stages the better your results. For example. emotional work and you may have to go through this process a few times in the span of your working life. or where you need to use your “gut” to guide you.
Using "Holland's Codes" Shaping a career that suits your personality. Learning is replaced with routine. You are no longer having fun. Your promotional and/or development opportunities are limited.
we can find ourselves in positions where what we’re doing just doesn’t suit our natural interests and abilities.
Understanding the Theory: Holland’s Codes
In the 1970s John Holland developed a popular theory of interest development based around these six personality types: 1.money. Avoid "social" activities. In a perfect world. tools. Avoid activities that seem mundane. practical. and genuine. curious. Investigative (I): Investigative people like activities that involve creative investigation of the world or nature. intellectual. Realistic people:
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See themselves as mechanically or athletically talented. commercial or "enterprising".
Analytical. those that need interaction with other people. or enjoy working with objects. Value scientific endeavors. power. This is where understanding how job and personality fit together can help you change the situation for the better. and machines. persistent. but may not be good with people. inflexible. materialistic. we would all choose careers that suit our core interests. but often lack leadership skills. Value concrete and tangible things like . or which demands a lot of number crunching. Here we look at your work interests – an important part of your work personality. Realistic (R): These are people who like well-ordered activities.
. and status. However this is not a perfect world: For all sorts of reasons. and reserved. Ability and personality are the two main things contribute towards job satisfaction.13
driven mad in a profession that has lots of rules and procedures. precise. You’re likely to find that jobs that suit your ability and personality are much more rewarding than those that don’t. Investigative people:
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See themselves as highly intelligent. pessimistic.
3. reproducing materials. and cooperative. Value social activities. emphatic. Artistic (A): Artistic people like unstructured activities. Social people:
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Perceive themselves as helpful. ambitious.
Idealistic. sociable. Avoid activities demanded by "realistic" occupations and situations. Conventional (C):
Extroverted. introspective. but may lack scientific ability. people enjoy reaching Enterprising organizational goals or achieving economic (E): gain. Avoid "conventional" occupations or situations. and exhibitionistic. impractical and nonconformist. developing. filing. Value political and economic achievement. complicated . persuasive. Value aesthetics. adventurous. patient.
5. understanding and able to teach others. and organizing written or numerical data. tactful. Conventional people
. popular. Artistic people:
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See themselves as talented artists.
Conventional people enjoy manipulating data. curing and enlightening others. optimistic. training. Avoid activities demanded by "investigative" occupations and situations. sensitive. record keeping. and enjoy using materials to create art.
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See themselves as aggressive. great leaders and speakers. Social (S): Social people enjoy informing.
ESA). inflexible. practical. This is then matched against the Holland's codes of people typically found within particular careers. and ideas. data. things. below) organized according to people's preference for working with different stimuli at work: people. This gives their Holland's code (for example. Jobs with Conventional or Operational characteristics would be the next best choices. Value business and economic achievement. For example Artistic people are least like Conventional people and most like Social and Investigative people. the career most aligned with that type is most likely to be enjoyable and satisfying. Avoid unstructured or "artistic" activities. and that the distance between work personalities indicates the degree of difference in interests between them. and methodical.
Efficient. The way that this works in practice is that people use a personality test to identify their three top personality types.
Holland then arranged these six personality types into a hexagon (see figure 1. defensive. Holland's theory is that people with different personality types prefer working with different work stimuli.
Holland's conclusion was that for any personality type.15
• • •
See themselves as having clerical and numerical ability. a Realistic person would be best suited for a Technical job and least suited for Social job. For example.
you might be very uncomfortable about deciding about decorations. These are more Artistic responsibilities.99) and a good one will show you the careers and professions that most suit your code once you've completed it.
Part One: Identify your Work Personality
Step i: Read through the brief descriptions given above and find the one you most identify with. one costs US$9. One strategy to deal with this is to
. or in helping you shape your existing job so that you maximize your fulfillment. if you were asked to organize the Christmas party. Step v: For each of the job roles where your interests are not well matched. You may want to take an official Holland Code Assessment. This can save you a huge amount of painstaking research! Step ii: To further explore your "true" work personality. Are they aligned with your work personality? Step iv: List those responsibilities that are aligned in one column and those that are not in another. To find your ideal career according to this approach. if you are a "Conventional" person working in an administrative position. entertainment. which are directly opposite to your Conventional ways. which is made all the easier by some useful online interest evaluation sites.
Part Two: Analyze your job in terms of your interests
Step iii: Look at your main tasks and responsibilities. explore any differences between your assessment of yourself and theirs. and so on. ask yourself why: Often we choose a personality type that reflects who we want to be. many of your roles will be in-line with your interests. family. learn from this!) Tip 1: Do try the online tests – they're not expensive (for example.16
How to Use Holland Codes Career Model:
There are two good ways of using this model – either in helping you choose a career that suits you. For instance. To shape your job. just complete steps i and ii below. ask yourself. Here again. "How would my spouse. Using Holland's Codes is a straightforward process. work out at least one way of bringing the two sides together. not who we really are. use our complete process. costing different amounts – you can find them by typing "Holland Code Assessment" into Google. Use this to decide whether your job is a good fit for your interests or not. (If so. Try one: Does the assessment say what you thought it would? If they aren't. There are many of these. However. and friends categorize me?" Show some of your friends and co-workers descriptions of the types and ask them to categorize you.
Tip 3: Also bear in mind that as you develop in your career you'll need to extend your skills into new areas. and set realistic goals to change things. Make sure that you interpret any conclusions with common sense. In particular. Every occupation requires a particular set of characteristics.17
delegate the Artistic tasks and assume responsibility for making sure the tasks get done. you can identify areas of dissatisfaction and help you plan how to address these. This helps you develop your career in the right direction – one that will be a source of long-term fulfillment.
Shaping your job to fit you better
Have you ever noticed something like this going on at work? It's now about six months since the arrival of a new Program Office Administrator. Likewise. as well as other skills that normally go with other personality types (if you're going to be a CEO. as you take responsibility for people and then move upwards within an organization. time limited goal. and the way it fits with the future shape of your life. This helps you think about what you want to achieve with your life. If you're thinking about your career. but it can't possibly capture all of the complexities of the ways that people behave at work. Identify two or three of the most important problem areas.)
Holland’s Career Codes provides a useful framework for exploring your personal interests and the careers most likely to suit you. you need to develop the "Social" ability to work with other people. By identifying your particular interests you can quickly uncover the parts of your job that give your satisfaction. there's a lot of "Conventional" work that you just have to do. Tip 2: Remember that this is a model – it's a useful way of looking at things. and the focus of the job has changed subtly.
Part Three: Set Goals to Bring Your Interests and Responsibilities in line
Step vi: The best way of making sure that something gets done is to set a specific. You maintain the Administrative duties and get rid of the Artistic ones.
. and do well. and set the goals that will lead you there. look at our Life Plan Workbook.
adjust and continue. You shift the emphasis of the job towards things that you can do really well. Stephen. and you can start whenever you want. has a particular flair for graphic design. using her competence in finance to develop new procedures for checking the monthly financial reports for all of the projects in the program. use the Reflected Best Self™ exercise to explore them. Check on progress. By subtly redesigning your job like this.
Task content: This involves improving the way that things are done. Overall. He's now enhancing the different progress reports to make key information stand out more effectively. using skills that you already have. The idea here is that many jobs are actually quite flexible. they've both been really good performers. so that you can generate better results.
Let's look at each of these steps in more detail. So.18
The previous post-holder. 2. follow these steps:
1. while "wowing" your employer at the same time. In short. Decide what you want to change. meaning that their focus can be adjusted to fit the skills and preferences of the current job-holder. did a great job. improving both satisfaction and performance.)
. Step 1: Decide what you want to change by crafting your job You can make changes in one or more of the following areas to craft the way you work. at least to some extent. you can play to your strengths. it's about creating opportunities to play to your strengths. 4. The ways that that Rebecca and Stephen crafted their work as Program Office Administrators fell into this category. and away from those where your performance is likely to be weaker. Rebecca. or using your knowledge to change working methods. though. Practically any job can be crafted. what's going on? The answer is that both Rebecca and Stephen have been using the concept of job crafting. Act to put positive change in place. so that it's closer to your "ideal" job. making a big contribution to the efficiency and organization of the team. 3. Evaluate how the change will impact you and your work environment. however. but what makes it a really powerful tool is that it allows you to increase the control you have over your own professional life. Her successor.
How to start crafting your job today
To "craft your job". Job crafting may seem like a simple idea. (If you're not sure what your strengths are. without necessarily consulting managers or having to wait for their approval.
it won't help you to expand your skills or affect your output greatly. and the organization as a whole. read our article on Creating Job Satisfaction. You could volunteer to train new-hires on the system. or a boost to your own self-esteem. Purpose: You can also redefine your existing work to reflect what you see as being the real impact of what you do at work. Here. or provide updates on system changes for your colleagues. So make sure you're headed for a mutually beneficial outcome. you need to assess the potential impact of these possible changes on your wider work environment. you might look for ways to have more satisfying interactions with other people during the course of your work each day. In our example. more effective workforce. you might be tempted to craft your job so that you spend more time in the test lab. your supervisor or manager. Stephen might volunteer to mentor new hires. For example. For example. So look for things you could change in the first two categories to get the most out of job crafting. For more on this. and see if other job crafting changes might work better!
. a programmer working in the IT department of an airline could reframe his or her work from "writing code" to "helping people enjoy trouble-free travel". where she's less likely to find you! You might achieve your short-term goal of avoiding these meetings. or more interaction with people from other departments.19
Relationships: Here. your colleagues.
Note: Crafting job purpose doesn't involve any actual changes in the content of your work. if you dislike having meetings with your supervisor. What your organization gets from this is a better-trained. you may have significant experience in using your organization's internal accounting system. and while this can certainly add to your enjoyment of your work.
Step 2: Evaluate how crafting your job will impact you and your environment Next. or at least that your job crafting is compatible with your work environment. For example. but the overall impact may well be negative. go back to Step 1. If this isn't the case. Remember that effective job crafting usually depends on finding a win-win solution. Avoid any temptation to turn a job crafting exercise into a win-lose situation. What you get out this could be simple enjoyment because you enjoy teaching people things. you should take into account your clients.
nothing will come of it. Helping you approach your work with more energy and enthusiasm.
. ensure that your boss and clients are happy with what's going on. and you accepted that when you were hired! Make absolutely sure that. if you have any managerial responsibilities. and you decide to make the necessary changes.
What job crafting can do for you
The benefits of job crafting can include:
• • •
Giving you greater enjoyment from what you do at work. as mentioned in Step 2. When you have a number of other people to supervise. lead to career enhancement opportunities. The only condition is that your decisions must have positive outcomes for your organization. After all. in itself.
And of course. Tip 1: You can always ask your manager's opinion about how you're crafting your job. even small changes in how you work can have significant effects on the people who depend on you. Encouraging real personal development by improving skills. If everything checks out. within your recrafted job.20
Also. you're fully meeting the objectives you've been set. and make sure that it really is compatible with your wider work environment. you can let your changes become a habit. you take the initiative! Tip 2: Don't expect to be able to redefine your job completely. it's time to put your job crafting into practice. you decide what's going to make you feel better valued and more productive. But don't wait for. Job crafting gives you the chance to turn this situation around. adjust and continue
Having gone through Steps 1. perfecting the skill of job crafting can. By refocusing your job in this way. check that it gives you what you want. This is the phenomenon whereby people have become so accustomed to indifference to their contributions that they believe that no matter what they do. In job crafting. 2 and 3 above. you need to take them into account when you consider any job crafting. managerial input or approval before you start. or expect. the key is to get rid of any symptom of what psychologists call "learned helplessness". and you feel good about what's happening. Step 3: Act to put positive job crafting change in place At this stage. your employer wanted someone to carry out your duties. Step 4: Check on your job crafting progress.
How can you predict and prepare for this workplace of the future? What should you be doing now to make sure you don't find yourself facing a dead end in your career?
. you look for a win-win solution.
Future Proof Your Career
Developing skills for your future as well as for today
How will your job be different five years from now? Indeed. having checked they're having a positive effect.
Job crafting is something that you decide to do. compare notes with other colleagues who are appreciated at work and who clearly enjoy their jobs. What we do know for certain is that change is a constant in the workplace. or in 10 or even 20 years time? And over this time. in order to change aspects of your current job. and so find out what might also work for you. The benefits you can get from crafting your job include boosting results. and then. There are four basic steps: you decide what you want to change.21
Tip 3: For pointers on how you might set about job crafting. you make sure they become a habit. building skills and increasing your general ability to cope with your work. so that it suits you better. you may uncover some interesting ideas. increasing enjoyment. what will happen to the company and industry you work for? We really don't know what the future holds. By categorizing their experiences according to the list in Step 1. will your job even exist in its present form in five years. This means that what we are doing now will be different in the future. you put the changes into practice. Start crafting today!
The Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) at the University of Michigan has a useful Job Crafting Exercise. This is a template that you can buy on-line to help you apply the ideas discussed here. An important element of successful job crafting is that it's you who takes the initiative: you don't need to wait for your manager or supervisor to give you instructions.
specialization is no longer the route of choice. This forms a great foundation for a successful career. it is critically important to continue your professional development. Refer back to this list often and take inventory of what you should be doing either differently from. That's why you see nurses with business skills and technology experts with financial experience. Monitor and track your progress. your kit may need to adapt as well. skills and experience. get a job at a company renowned in its industry for developing its people (traditional examples are GE. consider joining our Career Excellence Club to learn these skills. so that you remain in demand in the marketplace. A broad range of competencies. however. you are enrolled in a continuous development program that goes well beyond the technical skills you need for your current role. stress management and interpersonal skills are all fundamental requirements of the jobs of today and tomorrow. Force yourself to keep your technical skills current. They will help you keep your skills current and your opportunities open. Leadership. Get and remain tech-savvy. do it.) When you work for this kind of company.22
This article gives you some strategies you can begin pursuing now. Develop cross-functional skills. what you are doing now. You need to develop the transferable skills that are universally sought by employers. We keep finding faster and leaner ways to do things. as your own circumstances change. Toyota and Mars. And remember. be proactive and stay current even when your company does not.
Your specific technical skills may get out of date. even if new developments don't seem directly related to your current job. make sure you use it to plan your skills development. communication. It can pay off for some. Beyond a certain stage in your career and in uncertain environments. If that means learning the newest online tools like blogging and web conferencing. it has high risk of obsolescence attached. Develop a five year learning plan to acquire the knowledge and education you need. If you're early in your career. innovation. Develop your competencies. If you're in a highly technical field of work. or in addition to. Pick and choose from among them to build your unique Future Proofing Kit. use the tips found in the Personal Goal Setting article to help you set development goals effectively. To maximize your chances of success.
Future Proofing Kit
Find an "Academy" company. you'll get left behind and may have to catch up a huge amount before you can head off in a new direction in the future. Much of the change we see has to do with new technology. and if you have our Personal Development Plan Workbook. Here are some ways to do this:
• • •
Choose two competencies or skills to improve each year. skills and abilities can help you secure a new job or may even open the door to working in a new industry. And yes. Along with technical skills.
The more experience you get. projects and results. You need to be proactive and take continuous inventory of what you do really well. You need to acquire the ability to work within the international marketplace by:
• • •
Learning about working with diverse cultures. geographical barriers to business are getting less and less relevant. All of us need to boost our confidence and self esteem from time to time. Your co-workers.
• • • • •
Track your duties. the accolades you have been given and the noteworthy results you've been responsible for. Employers want to know what you will do for them. it is much easier to recall your most relevant achievements and skills. Keep a list of professional development activities you've participated in. These people will be invaluable as the landscape of work changes. your profession and the industry you are in. Learning another language. They can bring you along with them as they weather changes. When you add a mentor or two to your network. When you have a ready list of things you have done. Asking for assignments that require international exposure.23
"Think global. Join professional networking associations. Create and maintain a success journal. technologies and strategies that will help you move your career in the direction you want. File your performance reviews and the written letters and emails you receive that note your performance. No one can accurately predict the future. Keep track of former bosses and colleagues.
• • • •
Collect business cards." In many industries. Build and maintain a professional network. Make sure that you develop good relationships with people both within and outside your organization. Having a list of objective strengths and accomplishments can do a lot to improve your motivation and belief in your abilities. clients and stakeholders now and in the future can be from anywhere in the world. the more confidence you will have when working in the global marketplace. Participate in a wide range of activities and build relationships beyond your current career or industry.
Scan the environment. however stay ahead of the crowd
Use this success journal to track your strengths and successes and also to affirm your wonderful qualities as well. Be aware of changes and trends in the economy. This will make you much more attractive to employers in the future. The time to start thinking about your accomplishments and skills is not when you are looking for a new job. and can provide opportunities when your current position looks uncertain. List the training you've completed. you have the added bonus of learning new skills. Note your volunteer work.
failure to achieve your potential.24
by keeping yourself informed. then this is a problem: There may be no onward path. All of these techniques can be very useful as you begin to plan and prepare for your future. opportunities will most-likely appear with alarming regularity. It is better to prepare now. Keep a clear career path open. Complete a PEST analysis for your industry and others you are interested in.
• • •
Evaluate and affirm your strengths on a regular basis. Back your hunches and analysis with action.if you're good at what you do. avoid industries and companies that are on a downward slide. Analyze the attractiveness of your company using Porter's Five Forces and USP Analysis. and choosing to work in industries .
• • • • Keep track of business trends by reading a good newspaper and the industry
press. you will eventually have to leave. This may not be a problem if you're in a fast growth industry . For many. Develop realistic and achievable goals. you can take control of your future career
. Develop resilience. With some forethought and planning.that have long-term sustainability. This is where you need to review your options and take action to unblock your career. boredom and.
While your job description may not be relevant in the future. it's best to get out while the going's good!
Overall. This will lead to frustration. See our article on Career Planning to find out how to do this. even if it means a job. Build your flexibility and maintain your enthusiasm despite what is happening around you. listen to the Expert Interview with Cal Crow. in the long term.or career-change. you can ensure the skills you bring to the table are. Because the future is uncertain. And they all have in common the elements of risk management and career planning. and development may be blocked. however. Being an expert in a dying field may provide a niche strategy into the medium term. You may be fortunate enough to be in an organization where there's a clear and attractive career path ahead of you. however hard you work. If you think your company or industry is in trouble. this will not be the case.and for employers . You need to become good at both to secure your future career. monitor your progress and identify what is holding you back. However if you're in a slow growth industry or are one in decline.
To learn more about resiliency. you will probably encounter setbacks no matter how much you prepare and plan. People who will be successful are those with the ability to bounce back and consider such setbacks as learning experiences.
But you currently have no management experience. you will find yourself in a great position to recognize and capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves.
Overcoming a Lack of Qualifications
Gaining the skills you need
Imagine this scenario: You're doing a great job in your current role. without spending too much time and money? The good news is that there are several ways to overcome your lack of qualifications. we offer strategies for gaining the skills necessary to help you secure the job of your dreams. and it could advance your career to exciting new levels. but volunteering isn't just about doing charity work: it's also a great way to acquire new skills that would be hard to learn elsewhere. and keep an eye out for opportunities that arise in your organization . what are some alternative ways of learning the skills you need. it's not always realistic or practical to obtain those qualifications. But you fear you may not get the opportunity. it is in how attuned you are to the early indications of change. and you're so inspired by the new role that you know you would quickly gain the necessary knowledge. When you realize that change is constant and you are constantly planning so you stay ahead of the game. you've got some useful skills.25
today. What can you do? Well. but you've recently become interested in a completely different line of work. The key is not so much in how skilled you are at predicting what will happen.even if they are not directly related to your current job. you can show initiative. Sure. So you ask yourself: Do you really have the time or desire to quit your current job to pursue that advanced degree you need? Can you afford to spend the money or vacation time on executivelevel coaching courses? While gaining formal qualifications is the best way of advancing your career.
This may come as a surprise. What about joining an employee relations committee? Or
. for many people.they may be advertised on a bulletin board or company intranet . and you'd like to apply for the job as soon as the vacancy is advertised. In this article. This is something you feel passionate about. You've always wanted to work in management. So. Let's say you've heard a rumor that a management position at your company will open up in the next few months. The only problem is that this new type of work requires qualifications or experience that you currently don't have.
can at least lead you one step closer to the job you really want. writing. The important thing is to see your name in print. with fewer responsibilities and fewer requirements. Eventually. but you have no experience writing feature stories or working in a newspaper environment. chances are pretty high that you won't get a writing position without a portfolio. Applying 'downward' may not seem appealing in the short term. or reimburse you for outside classes. and the good impression you'll make. and you can add them to your résumé when you apply for a promotion or new job. as a volunteer. As well as learning new skills. Imagine that you'd like to start a career as a journalist. If you can't identify opportunities within your company.26
how about a planning committee that's organizing a major company event? Why not volunteer to run it? Taking on new duties will involve more work (and. depending on the new company or position. volunteering for extra jobs or projects can also help you prove to your boss that you can handle increased responsibilities. You'll then be in an ideal position if there's a job opening for a writer. you might be able to learn the skills you need for your ideal job during your regular work day. But it's also an opportunity to be involved with managing a group of people. then applying for a related position.such as school boards and youth work programs look for people to do accounting. You can write a few articles in your spare time. you could make the transition to full-time journalist.
. You can even offer to help out with some of the smaller articles. These skills are highly valued in the business world. You're a good writer. and more. you'll soon gain detailed knowledge of how a newspaper works. But if you take a job as a receptionist at a media organization. Well. Although you may not see immediate results. and ask your new journalist colleagues for feedback. project management. Failing to consider a lower-level position might mean you would miss out on these opportunities. you won't get paid for it). budgeting. you'll be able to show that you have experience successfully running a team. and to build up your portfolio. Many nonprofits . The company might offer training seminars. Why would you apply for a position further down the ladder from the one you want? Here's the reason: If you have no qualifications or experience for a specific role. it may be worth exploring this option if it helps you reach your ultimate goal. And. if you really want to make a career change. When it's time to apply for that management position. However. in the long term. fundraising. marketing. then consider volunteering for community organizations.
Start at a Lower Level
This may not seem to make sense at first. don't dismiss the long-term value of the knowledge you'll gain.
however. for example). then just helping out on a hospital ward will not be enough to secure the job of your dreams. You could attend lectures on topics such as Barriers to Relationship Building. and so on. accounting and finance.27
However. With distance learning. you attend class at the time and place of your choice . This is an admirable demonstration of your commitment to excel in your career. do bear in mind that certain occupations require specific qualifications and experience. These are usually intense training sessions that last anywhere from one day to a week or more.than a traditional school.something you would have to consider on a practical level before making such a commitment. you can become certified or earn a degree in almost any area.and at a much lower cost . marketing. so you'll have a better chance at a career in upper management. Executive-level workshops can be expensive. but they're terrific ways to learn some specific skills to add to your résumé. For example. If you attend a longer workshop (lasting a week.
Take Advantage of Distance Learning
Distance learning (Internet-based classes) allows you to gain additional qualifications while working full time. Imagine that you decide to take an executive workshop on relationship building. You don't have to waste time driving to and from campus. a traditional campus class is usually taught by one professor. which may have only one lecture on building relationships. And. and leadership are just a few subjects you could study in a distancelearning program. personnel development. Perhaps the biggest benefit to distance learning is that. because you work on your own (instead of at the pace of an entire class).plus group exercises and one-to-one coaching. Several years of rigorous medical training is essential here . if you want to become a medical doctor. Executive workshops often use several different approaches to teach upper-level managers important new skills that will help them advance their careers. in the evenings. This is because it's often more efficient than going to classes on campus. The Cost of Building and Maintaining Relationships. Asking Questions and Telling Stories. often use lectures from several different experts . you can often complete a qualification in less time .
Take Executive-level Workshops
Executive-level courses can help you gain qualifications in a specific area. Instead of a traditional management class. or on weekends. you may have to use your vacation time. each exploring a different area of relationship building. because it's so common now (compared to even a few years ago).on your lunch hour. For example. Executive-level workshops. workshops might offer several different lectures. business management. Skills like project management.
4. you don't necessarily have to give up your dream. to choose one's way. volunteer for projects that will add those 'must-have' attributes to your résumé. If that's not practical. – Viktor Frankl.28
but make sure you still have enough remaining days off to take a real vacation during the year. This can often be as enlightening as the knowledge you acquire along the way.
Although it can be disappointing to realize that you lack the qualifications for the job you want. 'Man's Search for Meaning'
. This will strengthen your qualifications. or invest the time in distance-learning classes. Where possible.. Before They Control You
Everything can be taken from a man but the last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. Consider accepting a lower-level position to gain experience in a new field. Is your dream job a logical next step from where you are now? Assess whether you need to acquire new skills and/or qualifications to help you make that leap. our article on Finding Career Direction could help. then take proactive steps to investigate other ways of learning the skills you need. You may not only impress your company with your ambition and enthusiasm. but prove to them that you really do care about the job. and give you a chance to examine whether you really want the new job enough to work hard for it.
Apply This to Your Life
Managing Your Emotions at Work
Controlling Your Feelings. If you can gain those new skills within your organization. Consider where your next career move will be. 2. If you need professional qualifications to secure your ideal job. 3. find out whether courses are available for study by distance learning. It's worth checking with your company when you register for a workshop. It's never a good idea to wear yourself out in the race to get ahead. work towards obtaining the formal qualifications you need to get ahead. If you're still not sure. It might be willing to reimburse part of the expense.. especially if you can prove that the skills you'll learn will be useful for future projects or tasks.
no matter what the situation is. these types of behavior could seriously harm your professional reputation. But at work. they may choose to keep those who can handle their emotions. and How Should We Measure It?' According to Fisher's research. compassion. After all.
Below are different strategies you can use to help you deal with each of these negative emotions. As long as you share positive emotions constructively and professionally. or optimism usually don't affect others in a negative way. and work well under pressure. So. Dislike. Bond University professor of management Cynthia Fisher conducted a study called 'Emotions at Work: What Do People Feel. It could be caused by a colleague blocking your favorite project. when a customer snaps at you unfairly. and 'choosing' your reactions to bad situations? In this article. Why are we focusing only on negative emotions? Well.. most people don't need strategies for managing their positive emotions. and department changes. or unable to move forward in some way. or to go hide in a corner and feel sorry for yourself for a while. In your personal life. or your boss assigns you more work when you're already overloaded. as well as your productivity. if management is forced into making more layoffs. Stressful situations are all too common in a workplace that's facing budget cuts. You know. we look at the most common negative emotions experienced in the workplace – and how you can manage them productively. when your favorite project is cancelled after weeks of hard work. staff layoffs. your reaction to stressful situations like these might be to start shouting. Worry/nervousness. It may become harder and harder to manage your emotions under these circumstances. As the above quote shows. excitement. how can you become better at handling your emotions. but it's even more important for you to do so. when your best friend (and co-worker) is laid off suddenly. Frustration/Irritation Frustration usually occurs when you feel stuck or trapped. they're great to have in the workplace!
Common Negative Emotions at Work
In 1997. After all. a boss who is too
. you're always free to choose how you react to it.. Disappointment/unhappiness.29
We've all been in one of 'those' situations before. feelings of joy. the most common negative emotions experienced in the workplace are as follows:
• • • • •
which means they're not doing anything for you right now. and you sit there and worry. Focus on your breathing. For instance. the situation probably worked out just fine after a while. such as anger. For more on this. it's no wonder that many people worry about their jobs. And if it's a thing that's bothering you – well. or simply being on hold on the phone for a long time. then you have more time to prepare.30
disorganized to get to your meeting on time. Focus on how to improve the situation – If you fear being laid off. then breathe out slowly for five seconds. and nothing else. if your boss is late for your meeting. But this worry can easily get out of control. Do this at least five times. and this can impact not only your mental health. Worrying tends to lead to more worrying. Breathe in slowly for five seconds. Then think of one positive thing about your current situation. they're probably not doing it deliberately to annoy you. it's important to deal with feelings of frustration quickly. then don't go there and worry with everyone else.
. and that isn't good for anyone. you could use this time to relax a little. Try these tips to deal with worrying:
Don't surround yourself with worry and anxiety – For example. Whatever the reason. right? Your feelings of frustration or irritation probably didn't do much to solve the problem then. and be specific. read Physical Relaxation Techniques. Try deep-breathing exercises – This helps slow your breathing and your heart rate. Here are some suggestions for dealing with frustration:
Stop and evaluate – One of the best things you can do is mentally stop yourself. but also your productivity. that probably won't help you keep your job. This small change in your thinking can improve your mood. just move on. because they can easily lead to more negative emotions. Instead. Write it down.
Worry/Nervousness With all the fear and anxiety that comes with increasing numbers of layoffs. if you allow it. it's certainly not personal! Don't get mad. and your willingness to take risks at work. Find something positive about the situation – Thinking about a positive aspect of your situation often makes you look at things in a different way. Remember the last time you felt frustrated – The last time you were frustrated about something. Or. and look at the situation. if coworkers gather in the break room to gossip and talk about job cuts. Ask yourself why you feel frustrated. When it's people who are causing your frustration.
31 why not brainstorm ways to bring in more business. Remember. conduct a proper risk analysis around these things. don't let your worries get in the way of being appropriately assertive. When it comes to the time you've scheduled. For instance. write them down in a notebook or 'worry log. it gives you some perspective on the situation. you can choose how you react in a situation. if you're about to shout at your co-worker. so learn to recognize them when they begin. Stopping your anger early is key. it can dent your self-confidence. you can forget about these worries. If you start to get angry. If you have trouble managing your temper at work. Before that time. Is your face red? Are you waving your arms around? Would you want to work with someone like that? Probably not. Picture yourself when you're angry – If you imagine how you look and behave while you're angry. and it helps put you back on a more positive path. Dislike We've probably all had to work with someone we don't like. stop what you're doing – Close your eyes. Try these suggestions to control your anger:
Watch for early signs of anger – Only you know the danger signs when anger is building.
To find out more about managing your anger at work. take our self-test How Good Is Your Anger Management? Also. But it's important to be professional.
When you're worried and nervous about something. imagine how you would look. no matter what. knowing that you'll deal with them. then learning to control it is one of the best things you can do if you want to keep your job. It's also the emotion that most of us don't handle very well. and show how valuable you are to the company?
Write down your worries in a worry log – If you find that worries are churning around inside your mind. and take whatever actions are necessary to mitigate any risks. read Dealing with Unfair Criticism and Anger Management.' and then schedule a time to deal with them. Read our article on Building Self-Confidence to make sure this doesn't happen. Also. Just because your first instinct is to become angry doesn't mean it's the correct response. and practice the deep-breathing exercise we described earlier. Here are some ideas for working with people you dislike:
. This interrupts your angry thoughts. Anger/Aggravation Out-of-control anger is perhaps the most destructive emotion that people experience in the workplace.
After all. negative emotions can spread. Of all the emotions you might feel at work. ups and downs. you always have the power to change your situation. Disappointment/Unhappiness Dealing with disappointment or unhappiness at work can be difficult. set the example. Is it a co-worker? Is it your job? Do you have too much to do? Once you identify the problem. your energy will probably be low. please see Dealing with Difficult People and Egos at Work. If they did. Here are some proactive steps you can take to cope with disappointment and unhappiness:
Look at your mindset – Take a moment to realize that things won't always go your way. Remember. and no one wants to be around a person who adds negativity to a group.
. Be assertive – If the other person is rude and unprofessional. Treat the person with courtesy and respect. forcing a smile – or even a grimace – onto your face can often make you feel happy (this is one of the strange ways in which we humans are 'wired. that doesn't mean the goal is no longer reachable. but make a small change – for example.32
Be respectful – If you have to work with someone you don't get along with. these are the most likely to impact your productivity. then it's time to set aside your pride and ego. delay the deadline. Just because this person behaves in an unprofessional manner. then firmly explain that you refuse to be treated that way. Keep the goal. and all of that may hold you back from achieving. Remember.
Record your thoughts – Write down exactly what is making you unhappy. you might be afraid to take another risk. Adjust your goal – If you're disappointed that you didn't reach a goal. right? And it's the hills and valleys that often make life so interesting. life would be a straight road instead of one with hills and valleys. start brainstorming ways to solve it or work around it. that doesn't mean you should as well. If you've just suffered a major disappointment. and calmly leave the situation. and learning how to cope with these feelings is now more important than ever.') Try it – you may be surprised!
We all have to deal with negative emotions at work sometimes.
To learn more about handling dislike in the workplace. as you would treat anyone else. Smile! – Strange as it may sound. Our Back On Track article provides practical steps for recovering from a major career setback.
then. You may even do your job exceptionally well. my production output may suddenly fall! Focusing on simply what's expected of you may be a great strategy to keep the job you have. It's about showing that you have outgrown your current responsibilities. The key is identifying ways to add more value to your contribution. can lead to a new job with more responsibility. Think about it. Ask yourself these questions:
• • • •
What are the strategic goals of the organization? How does your department's work fit into the overall strategy? How is your boss's performance measured? What critical functions do other people in your team currently perform?
.seemingly lessdeserving people .in your pursuit of a promotion. the harder it will be to pull yourself away from negative thinking. why should I promote you? Clearly. immediately start your strategy to interrupt the cycle. that you've been in the same position for three years while others . If you're busy working away. If I promote you. you still have to perform well and meet your current job requirements. Now.it means doing more of the RIGHT things. Promotion isn't just about doing what you're paid to do.
Understand Your Organization
To prepare for a promotion. It's not necessarily even about being the best "widget" maker you can be. When those emotions begin to appear. The longer you wait. and which types of feelings you face most often.and that may move you forward too. Why is it. you have to really understand the drivers of organizational success. before you head out to stop being effective at anything. remember . producing more widgets per hour than anyone has ever produced. and that you're ready to take on new ones. Organizations move forward by solving problems. Discover ways to be more involved in the solutions . your value to the company is your efficiency.33
Know what causes your negative emotions.have been promoted? The people who have been promoted may know one critical thing that you don't.
Get Ready for Promotion
Showing What You Can Do
You do your job faithfully every day. and stretching yourself beyond your current role. But going beyond what's expected. Promotion is about pushing the limits of your current position. It doesn't necessarily mean doing more things .
look for opportunities to lead projects. you first have to prove that you're capable of handling the increased responsibility. To gain access to them. and make sure you acquire these. perhaps by reading the industry press. Try the following:
Volunteer to take on new projects and other opportunities.34
You may even want to make lateral moves . When you have questions for your boss. Get up-to-date. and stay current in your field. managers are given responsibility for something. Offer to take on tasks that you know your boss dislikes or is weak in. and they then delegate various pieces to their staffs. Also.to similar positions in different departments . Become aware of the economic and business pressures facing your organization. you may also see and be considered for more promotion opportunities. find out about the skills you'll need in the new role. These higher-level tasks are what you want to get involved in. come prepared with solutions as well. Use good judgment when carrying out your responsibilities. When you have the right mix of experience and skill.
Increase Your Responsibility
Typically. For example. and you'll make your boss's job easier . This frees up your time and allows you to practice supervising others' work. to learn and practice other skills. while also demonstrating individual competence. Expand your skill set. Determine what you need to learn to add more value. review bottom-line results. For example. Identify opportunities to delegate your own work.it's a win-win!
. offer to cover a co-worker's responsibilities while he or she is on vacation. This involves working well as part of a team. They delegate in order to have more time to work on higher-level tasks. gain experience in other areas of the company. Here are some ways to prove your capabilities:
• • •
Complete your work thoroughly and with as little supervision as possible.to increase your overall appreciation for what the company does. promotion to a more senior level may become a realistic goal. Find opportunities to continue your learning and education.
Then. If your exposure is broader. if you're a communications manager and feel that there's no place else to go with your job. This can help you practice your leadership skills and demonstrate your ability to take on new responsibilities. and know how your role impacts the company as a whole. and make a plan to acquire those skills. You'll expand your range of experience. Think about cost versus benefit.
This demonstrates both your imagination and willingness to take risks. this can be a great way to set the stage for promotion. Set your goal. Take action with these steps:
Identify your career goals within the organization. and set goals to learn the skills you need for success. Look for things that aren't being done at all. Innovation isn't always improving things that already exist . Understand the big picture.others in your company who may want the same position you want . faster. Rather than accept things as they are. and who might champion your ideas. you'll probably end up disappointed. or with less waste? Consider the following:
Demonstrate critical thinking when you report to your boss. If you rely on someone else to make it happen. The more you learn from other people's experiences. Evaluate your strengths. even if you aren't sure of the response. always think about how to do things better. Having someone to talk to.
Set Promotion Goals
Ultimately. find ways to work around them. and follow it through! See Personal Goal Setting for practical tips. A positive attitude can go a long way toward reaching your goals. Find out what they did to get where they are. and incorporate it into your decisions and solutions. That's one of the defining characteristics of leaders. is a great benefit.
. How can you do something cheaper. Take note of who your internal competition might be . Be prepared for many of your ideas to not be accepted.it's often adding something of value as well. and getting noticed for your ability to inspire and motivate. Look for a mentor within the organization. you're the one who needs to work proactively to make a promotion happen. Put forward your ideas. the better. See Finding a Mentor for practical steps and strategies.and come up with innovative ways to do those things better. Talk to people who hold the kinds of positions and levels of authority that you want. Learn more about innovative thinking in Practical Innovation.35
To prepare for a promotion.and work hard to distinguish yourself and make yourself stand out.
When you run into obstacles. think how you can improve them .
If you prove that you're interested in improving organizational performance and that you can come up with some original ideas.
find out what experience and skills are needed to get that job.
Earning a promotion is partly within your control. and then proactively work to achieve it. Seek advice on how to prepare for that role. Using your knowledge of the organization. let others who have influence over the decision know what you're doing. use this as an opportunity to develop the skills you need. You have to be your own best champion: Preparing for a promotion is no time to be quiet and shy. Ask for the promotion when it becomes available. That won't guarantee a promotion.
As you execute your promotion plan. and even being the best at what you do. expand your skill set. You need many people to know what you're capable of and what you want. To prepare for promotion. Let people know what you want. are not guarantees of advancement. Understand what drives your company's success. increase your value to the organization. Here are some steps you can take to make your wishes known:
• • • •
Identify a role or position toward which you want to work. you can create the path to the position that you want. Be smart about the type of value opportunities that you create. By being proactive. though. Network with people in the company. If you aren't ready yet. Let as many people as appropriate know what type of role interests you. and communicate your promotion goals to others.
Get the Recognition You Deserve
. take on more of the right responsibilities.36
Communicate Your Desire
Doing all of the above will likely be met with great appreciation. Simply doing what's expected of you. Work with your boss to set performance objectives so that you can achieve the necessary skills and experience.
37 Learning how to get praise
Imagine this: You stay late at work. because everyone wants something different. then what happens when you ask for a raise? How will he or she know you're ready for that promotion. So.
Step One: Decide What You Want
Companies often thank staff with awards. certificates. she forgets to show any gratitude to her stars. at least once in a while. and never show up late . Be sure to make yourself look good. or bonuses. Do you want a simple "thank you"? An award ceremony in your honor? A raise?
Step Two: Define Why You Deserve Praise
Don't walk into your boss's office with no advance preparation to say what a great job you've been doing. Boasting of your own accomplishments can feel awkward. You might forget the help a co-worker gave you. We want to know that our work is meaningful and that we've made a difference. it would seem odd. hard check doesn't always communicate that. but also share credit where credit is due. You'd think that by doing all of this. Why? Firstly. and as a result. and you don't point it out to him or her. you would. you finish even your worst projects successfully and ahead of schedule. Make a list of the accomplishments you'd like to discuss. and leaving out that person could speak poorly of your character. Believe it or not. Beside each one.
. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Working hard and getting ignored by your boss can be rough. get thanks and recognition from management? Well. you might forget something important that you've done. That's why you sometimes have to take matters into your own hands. However. so decide what type you want. there is a way to do this. your boss is busy dealing with a "problem" member of the team. But look at it this way: If your boss doesn't notice your hard work. people often just want simple praise. you wish. Then. or if you can handle that huge-but-fascinating project? Things don't have to be like that. Unfortunately.and to top it all off. if you're a bit nervous. consistently win accounts that your co-workers only dream of. An "Employee of the Month" certificate. what exactly are you looking for? It's important to really define this. list the value that accomplishment has brought to the company. We'll show you how to get the recognition you deserve without looking like you're seeking attention. That includes you. never miss deadlines. or a cold. There are many types of recognition.
then people may notice. so think of ways to let your boss know how hard you've been working. then do it carefully and tactfully . In your work environment. and you don't even realize it. and your boss only quickly glanced at it before passing it on to be copied. For example. You can also praise others in front of your boss. By bringing their hard work and accomplishments to your boss's attention. or when you're finally able to please your company's worst customer. emphasize how you had help and how your co-workers should be rewarded for their hard work as well. You know that list of accomplishments you just created? Read that over a few times before your meeting. however. Keep it genuine and honest. then say it. not-too-obvious way. Tell your boss honestly how members of the team need some recognition. If so. If you tell your boss directly. If this feels a little too much like bragging. send your boss an email every time you win a new account. consider that her actions may really say that she trusts you to do top-notch work. Yes.38
Step Three: Praise Yourself
This is where you've got to get creative. and you may look bad.he or she may be praising you. As you talk. but don't speak up if you don't really mean it. perhaps all the problem behaviors get noticed. Before you get upset. and help your boss understand how everyone would be more motivated if they just got a little praise now and then.
. Keep the focus off yourself. You know your boss and your business environment. but this kind of trust is also a compliment. and all the really great ones seem to be ignored. If you appear insincere. A Few Tips
Look closely at your boss's actions . a "thank you" for a job well done is nice. and she doesn't have read every line to know you've done a great job. let's say you spent hours writing the annual message to shareholders. For example. she may also notice the great job that you've been doing. If you have something good to say.in a private area. then you may have to do something bold to get management's attention. then think of ways to let your boss know what you're doing without being so obvious or bold. These little "progress reports" keep your actions in the open in a delicate.
and to do that.
These are just a few ways you can "raise the bar" in your workplace to get other people thinking about praise and recognition. and they're not working for the government. you should steadily earn your own praise as well
Living with a Lack of Job Security Coping with uncertainty
Some of the people you know may have only had a few jobs . it may get him or her to notice what you've been doing as well.in their lives. your boss has to know what you've already done. send them emails praising their efforts. Send him or her an email when she's made a difference in your day. If so. and praising your teammates when he or she is around to hear it. Even if you keep the focus off yourself. Think of subtle ways to get your boss's attention by talking privately. and send copies to your boss.or even one job . If your boss doesn't see the great work you've been doing." send that person an email and copy it to your boss. they're likely to be older than 50. and consider copying that email to his or her boss. If you're a team leader. When you recognize the efforts of your team. If you notice co-workers doing something great. Whenever someone does something that's earned a heartfelt "thanks. sending emails about small accomplishments. It's up to you to prove that you can handle the added responsibility . you might harm yourself if you don't speak up. Don't forget that your boss might need some praise and recognition too. This can show your boss that you're leading by example. having grown up at a time where company loyalty and hard work provided a steady career and a comfortable
. keep your eyes open for activities and co-workers that deserve praise. he or she might give that promotion or special project to someone else without knowing any better.39
Although not everyone is comfortable talking about their accomplishments. Apply This to Your Life:
Ready to put this into action? Here are some easy ways to use this tool in your life right now:
Begin by recognizing the accomplishments of others.
but you can control how you look at it. We'll show you what you can do now to deal with the feeling of a lack of job security. keeping a positive attitude can make all the difference! If you're stressed about your career. "job security" can seem like a thing of the past. So. Next.
. the technical skills you need can change quickly. People entering the workforce within the past few years may have more than 10 different jobs before they retire. develop your nontechnical skills as well. Your home life. be prepared. the world is much different." What else can you do . contracting. so don't expect yourself to feel or react like they do: they'll manage stress their own way. and financial situation are much different from those of your colleagues. try some of these tips:
Remember the saying "Whenever one door closes. outsourcing. then you have a lot to offer other potential employers if you get laid off. and learning how to cope is essential to being happy. It's impossible to know what the future will bring. In today's job market. downsizing. Some studies suggest that living with job insecurity . willingness to adapt to change." Living with uncertainty can be uncomfortable. If your lack of job security is due to a drop in demand for your technical skills. never making the break to search for something better. For more information.and how can you prove that you could learn a new line of work? Look at your track record of being adaptable. and your people skills. and use this site to build solid career skills. As a result of globalization. So. They might have spent 20 or 30 years with the same company.
Coping with Stress
Living with constant insecurity can be stressful. Here. so preparing in advance can help reduce your worries.the "fear" of losing your job .40
pension.can be more harmful to your health than actually losing it. and the chance to do something new. another one opens. learn how to handle the psychological pressure and stress. team management. read our Book Insight on "Career Intelligence" by Barbara Moses. how do you deal with this uncertainty? First. These days. think "outside the box. recession and even natural disaster. however. and leadership). It's important to realize that not everyone reacts the same way to job insecurity. your organizational skills (time management. and keeping stress away. It can be an adventure. because you'll know you've done all you can. The lack of job security that goes with this is something that almost everyone must face at one time or another. If you're a good worker with marketable skills. This is why it's so important to keep your skills relevant and up-to-date. and never having a reason to fear layoffs.
or what you're capable of doing. you keep him or her informed of your value. and it's within your power to change it. If you're part of a team (or if you're leading a team). Skills like effective time management. perhaps your skills would allow you to do something completely different within the organization. Also. so that you know what's going on in your field. You'll have to do more than "just the minimum" if you want to keep your job. or the person who's willing to take on extra work and always has something positive to say? If you face uncertainty in your field. Be PROactive instead of REactive. If you're afraid that you might get "downsized. to a different department or even a different branch. Look for lateral transfers within your company. This kind of commitment can help to set you apart from the crowd. leadership techniques. read Getting the Recognition You Deserve. if you don't tell her. Communicating and expressing frustrations are important. So.41
Stress can result from a feeling that you don't have control over your situation. It's your life. Remember. Take outside classes and read trade publications. Make sure you're up to date on your industry's certifications and trends. you ALWAYS have control.no matter what job you're doing. Help another team member who's falling behind.
Keeping your skills current is essential if you want to offer value to your company. Be willing to stay late to finish a project.
. and office organization can help you anywhere . By talking about your accomplishments. allow everyone to voice their fears. make sure you give value to your company. For more on how to brag about yourself (without being viewed as arrogant or overconfident). have an open discussion." then take control and act. but don't let these fears dominate the group. Start learning about other departments. but focus on what you can all do to move forward and cope.
Prove Your Worth
If you were your boss. But think of it this way: your boss may not know how great you are. and you were forced to eliminate one position.
"Brag" About Yourself
Many people resist talking about their accomplishments because they don't want to boast. Do things to show your boss that you love your job and you'll do what it takes to help the company succeed. who would you lay off: the person who leaves at 5:01 pm each day and complains all the time. think about taking classes that would benefit your role in any company. This can create negativity and hurt morale.
Take control by ensuring that your company knows how great you are. When your résumé is current.
Save Your Money
Few things are more stressful than wondering how you'll pay your bills if you suddenly lose your job. not just those who are actively looking for work (or afraid they might be soon). so you don't have to worry about paying your bills if you do lose your job. if you are laid off. even if it's not the right match. This alone can convince people to accept the first job offer they receive. But it doesn't have to be stressful and negative. Look at this change as an adventure and as the chance to try something new. If you wait until the last minute. and invest time in keeping your skills up to date. not on doubt and uncertainty. Focus on the positive. Changing your mindset can go a long way toward reducing your stress. Remember. And save some money. and put yourself onto a new.
In today's business world. exciting path. Preparing yourself for change is a great way to feel better about the situation.42
Keep Your Résumé Up to Date
This is smart for everyone to do. Save at least three to six months of living expenses . and you can be sure to present yourself in the very best light. It can also give you the resources you need to look further afield. your life is what you make of it!
. you can be ready at a moment's notice to apply for a new position even one within your own company.this can help you take the time you need to find the best opportunity. If you do get laid off.the job. This can help you turn a bad situation into a chance to reevaluate your career. remember that the world is full of opportunities. living with job insecurity is a reality for many. you might forget an important accomplishment that could mean winning . You won't have to rush to make changes (and risk making mistakes).or losing . if work dries up in your area.
simply because more stress is involved.43 Life after Job Loss Coping with the emotional turmoil
So. These are:
1. or in the same time frame. A younger worker with no mortgage payments and no children may experience denial and self-criticism. the more you know. After all. it finally happened. your age and life situation might partly determine how long you spend in each stage. 2. and think about what you can do to cope with each one.
Not everyone experiences each stage the same way. losing a job may not be quite as upsetting as this.
. Acceptance. Given the intensity of the stress you're likely to be experiencing right now. Also. Bargaining 4. Let's look at the stages in more detail. it helps to know what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.
The Five Stages of Loss
In a famous piece of research. You might skip a stage. Workers who have more responsibilities might take longer to move to the acceptance stage. Denial. however it can be a profoundly unhappy and stressful experience. All of the headlines and statistics about the current economic crisis have become personal: you've been laid off. or spend a long time in one stage and move quickly through the next one. and it can help to think in terms of Kübler-Ross's stages. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five different stages of grief that people go through when mourning the death of a loved one. Depression 5. or whether you experience a certain stage at all. the better equipped you'll be to handle the ups and downs that you're likely to face. but then skip directly to acceptance. Sure. Anger. 3.
your company. try to express your emotions in a healthy way. Don't pretend that you're just on an unexpected vacation or – worse – put your business suit on and catch the train as usual in the morning. To cope. your boss. surely you deserve better than this? You might become angry at family and friends as well. you might begin to feel very angry – angry at yourself. This is only prolonging the process of getting over what has happened.
Once you're past the initial shock of losing your job. Hurting the people you love will push them away.44
If you're thinking things like "I can't believe I've lost my job" or you think that this is all a silly administrative mistake that can be fixed. this is likely to be more practical. and make you feel worse. To cope with denial. but spend your day in a library or coffee shop with a newspaper. you have to open your mind to the fact that that bad. This can be one of the most difficult stages. use anger management techniques. This doesn't mean that you should start kicking and screaming. After all. you might start bargaining with yourself or your organization in the hope that your job loss is somehow reversible. or even a counselor. This may give you the outlet you need to move past your feelings of anger. if you've worked hard and "given your all". and that you have to live with them. and even unjust or wrong things do happen. then you're in Stage One. or the economy in general.
. In Kübler-Ross's original model. Talk with family and friends. or seek counseling. If your anger causes you to treat others badly.
After your anger has burned itself out. this reflected a form of subconscious bargaining with a higher power: "I just want to live to see my daughter married…" In the case of job loss. especially for the people around you.
"Whenever one door closes.
Warning: If you're experiencing significant or persistent unhappiness at this or any other stage. and move on.
. "It's the hallway in between those doors that's torture.45 For instance. but consider that something better might be out there waiting for you. Or. Depression is the beginning stage of acceptance. You're grieving for your lost job. To cope with this stage. learn from the experience. as someone else also said. or train any new hires that come through the door.
As the old cliché says. seek the advice of an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. if it was your fault." But. Put your energy into moving forward. you've got one foot on the ship and one foot on the dock. you might slip into a state of depression. and it could give you a sense of control in your life. your job right now is to find another job. This is also a great time to volunteer for an organization that you care about. Straddling them both will get you nothing but a miserable drop into the ocean. Depression is something that can be dealt with quickly and effectively if detected. or reduced benefits. you might go back to your boss and offer to work for less money. forgive yourself. Helping others can be very healing. You just have to be willing to find it! Start doing something productive. and that's an important step because it shows your finally coming to terms with what happened. be aware of what you're doing. You can call it fate or destiny. Picture it like trying to board a ship that's setting sail. Remember. but is something that can be painful and lingering if left untreated. So what can you do to cope? Accept that losing your job wasn't your fault. Bargaining is almost always futile. another one opens somewhere." Once you realize that your anger and bargaining tactics aren't working to get your job back. You might offer to work part-time.
Talk about your emotions." This is the point at which you can clearly see the next level of promotion . you might skip some stages. or go through all five: everyone is different. similar to what we experience at the death of a loved one: denial.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling Reaching for the Top with Everyday Tools
Do you feel that you've gone as far as you can with your current employer? Despite knowing that you have much more potential. give yourself a performance appraisal at regular intervals. Tip: Now that you no longer have a boss to manage your performance. and you're stronger because of it. It was very hard. if not impossible. incredible. If you feel like you're stuck in one particular stage and can't move past it. And the best news? You've faced the difficulties of losing a job. You're a talented. anger. Give yourself time to work through each stage. Assess your work skills and also how you're doing at looking for another job. Many experts agree that people go through five stages of loss or grief. do something productive. Traditionally. despite your best effort. exciting person with a lot to offer in your next job. the glass ceiling was a concept applied to women and some minorities.yet. you've learned from it. bargaining. then seek help so you can move forward. depression and acceptance.46
You've finally realized the truth: the layoff wasn't your fault. you've hit what's known as the "glass ceiling. and keep moving forward. is there a limit for "people like you" in your organization? If so. an invisible barrier seems to stop you from proceeding. or if it was your fault. for them to reach
Losing a job can be emotionally upsetting and overwhelming.
There's no set time limit for any of these stages.
and not afraid to "tell it like it is. Have you been pushed up against a glass ceiling? This can happen for many different reasons. you have a choice. there are many more women and minorities in powerful positions. here are some steps to take. And it's not always limited to gender or race. with a reputation for avoiding risk and making careful decisions. indeed." However. However. These skills are often tied closely to the organization's culture and vision. You can accept your situation and be happy with looking up and not being able to touch what you see. if you work for a conservative company (such as a publicly owned utility) chances are that top management are analytical thinkers. Today. If you do.47
upper management positions.
Identify the Key Competencies within Your Organization
Key competencies are the common skills and attributes of the people in your company's upper levels. Companies that value innovation and strive to be leaders will probably promote individuals who are outgoing. the glass ceiling is still very real. want to break through that glass. or you can smash the glass with purpose and determination. No matter how qualified or experienced.
. This is the first step toward discovering how to position yourself for a top leadership role. risk takers. they simply were not given opportunities to further advance their careers. Ask yourself these questions:
• • •
What are the values of your organization? What behaviors does your company value and reward? What type of person is promoted?
Understand what sets your company and its leaders apart. Are you too much the champion of change? Do you have difficulty communicating your ideas? Are you quieter and less outgoing than the people who get promotions? Whatever the reason.
Set Objectives to Align Your Competencies with Top Management
Once you know your target. You never know who may be in a position to help you or
. If you achieve that goal. Start with the introduction to communication skills. You're responsible for determining your own career direction. and attributes.
Remember to concentrate on areas of your performance that you can improve.48
To further clarify these ideas. set a goal to consistently demonstrate assertive and clear communication. skills. For example. because it probably won't be handed to you. set goals to get there. Do the following:
• • •
Let your boss know that you want to work toward a higher-level position. This can be discouraging if it doesn't happen. you've succeeded! See Personal Goal Setting for more ideas on how to define motivating goals. Two universal competencies for top management are effective leadership and effective communication. You may also want to consider taking the Mind Tools How to Lead course. Be proactive and go after what you want. read Core Competence Analysis and Deal and Kennedy's Cultural Model.
Read everything you can about leadership styles.
Build Your Network
You should also build relationships with other people in your organization. Work together with your boss to set goals and objectives. Ask your boss what skill areas you need to develop. no matter what job title you have. Mind Tools has an excellent collection of articles on Leadership Skills. and learn to use as many of these tools as possible. regardless of the level you want to reach in your career. then monitor and measure your performance. Don't set a goal to achieve a certain position by a certain time. Each of these is complex. Communication skills will help you.
to be effective and actually make it to the top. While "politicking" is often seen as negative. Past practices. A mentor can also be a great source of ideas for your professional development and growth. Many people tend to think it's best to make friends at the top. you can help your career by understanding and using the political networks in your company. Is upper management reluctant to work with certain types of individuals? Do they exclude certain people from important communications? A mentor can help you learn how to get connected to the information and people who can help you. biases and stereotypes.
Find a Mentor
Having a mentor is a powerful way to break through the glass ceiling. The barriers that you face have likely been there for a long time. If you can't break the glass ceiling in your company. Try these tips:
• • •
Reach out to new people on a regular basis. Ask yourself these questions:
• • •
Is there someone in upper management you can approach to help you? Will your boss be able to provide mentoring support? Are there people with strong political power who can offer you assistance?
Read Finding a Mentor for details on what to look for in a mentor
. Use the climate in your organization to your advantage.
Read more about Professional Networking. Get involved with cross-functional teams. However. you'll need the support of colleagues at other levels as well. you may have to look elsewhere for opportunities. and old ideas are often long established at the top of many organizations. Expand your professional network outside of your organization. It's important to network in all areas and levels of your company.49
provide you with valuable information.
the way to get ahead is to get noticed. watch for discriminatory behavior. Develop your skills and network with people so that your name becomes associated with top management potential. and develop plans to change them. Speak up and contribute in meetings. those at the top can see down. Identify places where your reputation is not what you want it to be. technical knowledge. Sometimes biases and stereotyping can cross the line into discrimination. leadership abilities. It's unfortunate for both you and your organization when situations like this occur. Make sure that what they see is you! Follow these guidelines:
• • • •
Seek high-profile projects.50
and ideas on how to find one. Remember. and arm yourself with a good understanding of your rights regarding official company policies and local laws. Visibility is very important. see What's Your Reputation?
Know Your Rights
Finally. you need to build a reputation as the kind of person who fits the description of top management. You want people to see your competence. communication skills. Mind Tools' article on Avoiding Discrimination shows you how to protect yourself if you face this regrettable situation. and any other competencies that are typical of people at the top.
To get ahead and reach the leadership level you want. To do this.
Build Your Reputation
Ultimately. Share ideas with peers as well as people in higher positions. Know that you're doing everything right. Don't just accept frustration and failure. you need to champion and market yourself. while you can see up.
For more tips on building the right kind of reputation. That means proactively managing every
and you may find new zones of opportunity. Do you feel alone and unsupported in your career goals? If so. consider the following:
Do you have a career plan in place? If you don't. you might have to work harder than others. Yet. You can then build and showcase the skills that will help you climb the corporate ladder. and. who can help you change that? We all need to make our own success.
Getting a New Boss Starting an important new relationship in a positive way
You may not have asked for it. We can't all be exactly the type of upper management person our company wants. Apply This to Your Life If you're frustrated with your career advancement.this is a sign of strength. a strong network. your old boss is leaving. and a new boss is arriving to take his or her place. know what your goals are? Unless people know what you want. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone. but most people don't succeed all on their own.51
step of your career. Arm yourself with a development plan as well as the help of your boss. What areas for skill development have been pointed out to you in the past? Are you making improvements? Are you facing a glass ceiling? Recognizing that the ceiling exists is the first step. You probably didn't plan for it. So. they may keep you in the same position and assume you're happy there. and potentially change the direction of your
. and monitor your progress. not weakness. The ceiling won't be removed unless you do something about it. like it or not. or anyone in your organization. hopefully. If you can't seem to break through a glass ceiling. what's going to happen now? Does this mean that you'll also have to change your job? Or is this a good opportunity to make a great first impression. Apply some of the ideas in this article. now is the time to make one! Does your boss. a mentor. Ask for support and assistance . What we can do is develop the skills that the company values.
you're not facing reality. In this article. in this case. and you'll learn how to make a positive and appreciated contribution that's good for both of you. There's a proper balance that you can find.
So. and even a different management style. It's up to you to build a relationship with your new boss. In many ways. However. Things will likely be different. He or she may have been promoted from within the team or from elsewhere in the organization. it's similar to when you first started your current job – you have to work to make a positive impression. The situation has now changed: if you simply keep doing what you did before. and prove yourself. Or your new boss may have had a similar position in another company – or even an entirely different role. 2. you are also new to your new boss. so expect to change the way you work. but doesn't know
. and you have to be supportive. You need to accept that this really is a new opportunity to make a first impression (this is one of the rare times that this possibility exists). Your new boss understands that he or she doesn't really know the work you do. This person needs your help. as well as which problems to avoid. and expect to experience a three-month adjustment period. is nothing. You don't want to overwhelm – or underwhelm – your new boss. Your new boss thinks he or she knows what you do.
Your New Boss's Background
Your new boss may come from one of many different backgrounds. However. Whether or not you worked well with your old boss is no longer relevant. you'll discover what's usually important for new bosses. during which you'll both "settle in" and get used to each other. But you also need to know how and when to act. but doesn't. so the boss may look to you for help. different policies.52
career? Many people in this situation limit their thinking to what has changed about themselves – which. This can lead to three possibilities:
1. your new boss may be the ‘new hire'. a new boss will likely have different opinions. Who's Really the "New Hire"?
In some cases.
) Some parts of this situation don't apply equally.
Even if your new boss knows what you do. Remember that your boss is also a "gatekeeper. or may not be able to offer advice on specific topics (this can be particularly true if you have a technical role). However. and sufficiently. He or she may not have detailed knowledge that you can use to check your work. "Sucking up" may bother your boss as well as your colleagues. But your new boss may have a more general management background. yourself). If you do either of these. Your new boss knows what you do. and then assess how your new boss reacts to your help: this will help you strengthen the relationship.
. and don't be disrespectful towards your new boss. You have one relationship to manage with your boss. don't sulk about not getting the job yourself. Offer your help.53 it. because she did your job before you got there. (If you were competing for the job. considerately. Perhaps your old boss knew exactly what to do in all situations. 3. but your boss has several relationships to manage with all team members. this can be a significant opportunity for you to accept a new level of autonomy and responsibility – and get great career experience!
Making the Relationship Work
An important step in managing the relationship with your new boss is to accept it. and you have to work with this new person. Our article Managing Your Boss discusses these situations as well as how to make adjustments for a boss's weaknesses that you may discover as the 90-day settling-in period continues. Whatever you might have thought about other candidates for the job (including. your relationship needs to be a top priority for you. Tip: Be helpful. so you can focus on the other aspects of building your working relationship. Your goal is to educate tactfully." with the ability to allow you – or deny you – access to a number of things that can impact your job satisfaction. On the other hand. you must face the reality that your company made a choice. and particularly if your new boss is an ex-colleague. this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll interact with this person the same way you did with your old boss. you're setting yourself up for conflict and failure. but don't appear too eager. perhaps.
and it may therefore show you how you can make a positive impact:
Building competence and learning the new role: This includes dealing with information overload and creating a learning plan..
Necessary Conversations with Your New Boss
Here's a checklist of what you and your new boss should understand and agree upon as you get to know each other. does your new boss think that the objective is to maintain a currently strong position or turn around declining performance? You may not agree on every point. These conversations can range from informal chats at the coffee machine to formal meetings in your boss's office or elsewhere. Figure out your boss's working style: What you do
. while making sure that what's asked of you is still realistic.
Determine how your boss views the current situation: Find out how your new boss sees things. this will help you relate to his or her expectations. For example.54
Helping Your New Boss Succeed
Your new boss will likely target several goals during the early weeks and months. Our workbook Congratulations on Your New Role. individual preferences. Creating quick wins to establish credibility: Credibility also means focusing on results that are important to the new boss's boss. but also figuring out who the key players are. Learning about and understanding the team members: This means not only getting to know them. and mutual availability as your guiding factors. Now What? covers this in detail. This is what your new boss is likely to be thinking . but we've summarized some of the information here. Learn what your boss's expectations are: What does your new boss want from you now and in the longer-term future? How will your success be measured? If you understand what will help your new boss succeed (see above). and linking tangible results with longer-term business goals. but at least you'll know. because this will help confirm to upper management that they made the right hiring choice.. Use common sense.